Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Babies, Puppies, Turkeys and Photos.

Since it's now mid-December, I figure it's the appropriate time to go back and talk about Thanksgiving. 


I'm late, but it has just taken me this long to really reflect on all the things for which I am thankful, you guys. I'm sorry I mull over holidays longer than you. You should see how long it takes me to finish my rumination surrounding Flag Day. And don't even get me started on Arbor Day. It should just be called Arbor Month, am I right?
15-month-old Charlie meets 10-week-old Grady.

In truth, I do have an unbelievable amount to be thankful for and was most grateful to get to spend Thanksgiving with my family. It was a jam-packed weekend of laughing, telling the puppy to stop putting things in his mouth, eating pie, telling the baby to stop putting things in his mouth, and watching football. 

Since you already know all about my date with country star Brett Eldredge, I'll skip over that portion of Thanksgiving weekend. But, if you ever want to talk about Brett Eldredge, I'm sure Anna would be more than happy to retell the evening again...that is unless she is off laying smooth game to another country star somewhere in the streets of DC. 

Rather than recap the entire weekend with a verbose account, I thought I'd just share some pictures and a few things for which I am thankful. As you may remember, I shared a similar list last year. 

Well, that post got hacked. 

At least, I think it did. It's telling me that over 1,000 people read it (around three times my normal readership) and I had to censor no less than two dozen comments along the lines of, "Your blog good for me business. I like your point and would welcome chance to be apprentice. Learn from you good writing me nice."

I mean, I've always wanted my own apprentice but how will I ever pick through all 24+ of those "big fans because you write interesting point on important topics." Yes, I do think beer-scented candles and baby toupees are important and I'm glad you agree. 

Nonetheless, I'm going to run the risk of being hacked's my list.

  • Food on the table and good company. Especially when that good company is my mom and she brings five pies for ten people.
  • Babies and puppies. Both are incredibly adorable, scared of loud noises, eat things off the floor, squirm like crazy when you try to hold them, and want nothing more than to pull other dogs' tails.
  • The Carolina Panthers and watching with other fans who make me feel like I'm close to home. And Steve Smith's ability to always pick fights on the field but never get caught.
  • A new job, wonderful co-workers, and a steady paycheck.
  • Friends who know that when I order a craft beer, I usually just want a Bud Light. 
  • Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, and all the other ridiculous platforms we love to hate but that allow me to keep in touch with family and friends around the world.  
  • My nephew for making me laugh. The kid can't high-five, but he can "cabbage patch." 
  • All my friends and family who got married this year and gave me a reason to celebrate, visit with loved ones....and get down with my bad self on the dance floor.
  • The children I meet when I volunteer at the children's hospital - stronger and more positive than any adults I know...and darn good at Candy Land and Uno. 
  • My family for being awesome, slightly nutty, always supportive, and hilariously funny.

Ok, so now is the time I have to admit that I lied to you. I'm sorry. I was so busy being thankful (read: drinking wine and eating cheese) that I forgot to take pictures at Thanksgiving. I mostly just have the photo below. Oops. 
A thankful bunch. I like to call that my "hurry up and take the picture, there is cranberry sauce in front of me and I need to eat it" smile. Charlie is making his "you think I don't notice that I'm not at the table but I do, you jerks" face.
To make up for my lack of Thanksgiving photos, I'm going to share a very special "Behind-the-Scenes" feature of a deCastrique Family Christmas card photo shoot. There was a puppy, a baby, and a dog who wanted nothing to do with the other two. Clearly, it was an orderly, efficient process.

I'm pretty sure the actual Christmas photo is embargoed until it gets sent out, so I'm only able to share the outtakes. I don't want to tick off Santa before the big day. But, if you're one of the lucky souls that gets said card, I think this will help you gain a greater appreciation for the gem you will be holding in your hands. 

Trying to rationalize with a baby why he can't have my tea in between takes. He was less-than-pleased.
Figuring out some kind of fancy camera equipment.

Entertainment for the baby. Or maybe it was for us. Either way, it worked. I was thoroughly entertained.
Let's all watch as the baby's finger gets eaten by the puppy.

We were supposed to sit normally on the couch to test the lighting but I think we nailed it. 

This is going well. 
At some point, we finally managed to get five adults, one puppy, and one baby in a picture, with the majority of us smiling with our eyes open. We were down a canine sibling as Belby decided she'd had enough and just watched condescendingly from the couch.  

And, I would be remiss to not mention the end of our Thanksgiving weekend which - as all weekends should - concluded with a Carolina Panthers victory. Just because it was a holiday weekend, didn't mean I couldn't show up to my embarrassingly favorite college bar to drink beer on the Lord's day, eat sweet potato fries, and yell "That's a Panthers....FIRST DOWN" with family and friends. 

It was a busy, hectic weekend, but I'm thankful for every minute of it. A (super) belated Thanksgiving to you and your families. I'm grateful every day for each and every one of you. (Except for those of you who comment about being my "smart time writing apprentice nice job like newspapers.")

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